Wednesday, June 17, 2009

New York Islanders - Party On, Garth!

(Editor's Note: I know the New Jersey Devils come next alphabetically but I wish to do an in-depth study for them that requires a lot of research - expect it early next week.)

A Yawn That Swallows The Whole World: The famed French poet Baudelaire said that was the definition of 'ennui'. It's also a good summation of how NHL fans feel about the New York Islanders, who are bad now, will likely remain bad in the future, who play in the NHL equivalent of a housing project, and have a former goalie turned GM still piloting the team.

Mark Streit Might Have The Best Contract In the NHL: Mark Streit flourished on Long Island, ending up as a plus player on a rotten team, while playing an absolute ton. He should score less goals next season, but that shouldn't take away from his ability - he is a top defender in the NHL.

2009-10 Projected Lines




Boy, There's An Opening On The Top Line: If John Tavares wishes to come to Long Island, he just may fill that spot.

Free Agent Discussion

Money Available: 13 million
Holes To Fill: 2

Thoughts: The Islanders have lots of money to spend, and they have to hit the NHL's salary floor, which is right now at 40.7 million. Although this blog has not been counting bonus money, bonus money does count towards the salary floor; the Islanders will likely be paying out as much as 4 million in bonuses, so they only have to spend around 5 million to hit the floor. They may be a dumpster for bad contracts, picking up valuable assets along the way. Another addition like Streit is in order as well - Alex Tanguay is a possibility, Nikolai Antropov another; both players have had up-and-down careers and may only find the kind of money they are seeking from second-division clubs.

Conclusion: The Islanders' third-highest paid player is Alexei Yashin, which sums up the team quite nicely. GM Garth Snow has actually done a not-terrible job in putting together the Islanders, and while they are almost certainly a last place team, there's room to grow. As long as the Islanders do not botch this rebuilding attempt, they should be a playoff team in 3 or 4 years. However, the Islanders have traditionally been outstanding at bungling rebuilding attempts, and the payoff might not come until the Islanders are uprooted to Kansas City.

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